(I do wish there were a different term for negative painting -- it just sounds so, um, negative. Especially for a holiday painting. Gerald Brommer's term, painting the unoccupied space, is a bit unwieldy.)
Anyway, I started my underpainting by wetting the paper and putting three yellow dots in the upper left. Then I slathered on all my different reds wet-into-wet in sort of poinsettia leaf shapes, so I suppose there was some degree of positive painting in the underpainting. I added bits of green to make the red pop and bits of yellow so that those three dots were not alone. I also lifted out some leaf veins with a small, almost dry brush. After letting the underpainting dry, I began negatively painting with reds darkened with green and greens darkened with red to bring out the flower shape. And here it is:
Right now I am thinking of changing my lesson plan for Saturday a bit so that I can include teaching what I did to make this holiday painting. We'll see how that works out .......